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Gleesons of Coore
Martin Junior Crehan
Bonavilla, Mullagh
Recorded in Healy’s house, Spanish Point, September 1992
Composed by Martin Junior Crehan

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Martin Junior Crehan

On a fine summer’s evening I happened to stray
From my home, ‘tis the last house in Ballymackea.
To meet lads and gay lassies who oft take a stroll
To the pub that is noted for ceol agus ól.

The ladies come in and they sit by the fire,
Warm their bellies to their heart’s desire.
And then very soon they are up on the floor,
Dancing a set in the pub down in Coore.

I must mention the landlady now in my song
She wouldn’t let thirst dwell upon you too long.
If you had a hangover she’d give you a cure,
May she live to be a hundred in the pub down in Coore.

As for the landlord he seldom appears
He’d watch television for twenty one years.
But his daughters come on and they tend the bar,
They’re pictures of beauty fine girls they are.

Ita Neenan and Crehan, they go on the stand,
Michael Downes and Pat Kelly, sure that is our band.
And Eamonn McGivney his music is sweet
Sometimes he gets tired and he falls off asleep

Now the dancing being over the singing begin,
There is wonderful talent both women and men.
You’d travel the country, of that I am sure
To equal the talent we have down in Coore.

Tom Munnelly a collector of stories and songs,
If you asked him to sing, it won’t take him too long.
Next in the line is Dennehy, Tim.
He does a great job in the Clare FM.

Peggy and Nonie they sing like a lark,
When they strike the high notes, it would gladden your heart.
And then there’s Pat Kelly his drums will not roll
He is gone, he has left us, may God rest his soul.

There is a wee man, his name, Vincie Boyle,
He sings all his songs in traditional style.
The people they say that he’s one of the best
But sometimes he says he has cold in his chest.

Then Patrick Lynch, he comes out on the floor
He gives recitations, he has a great store.
The best one he has now, I’m telling the truth
When he went to the dentist and pulled out a tooth.

Jim Burke and his ladies are always on time,
They come to the pub about twenty to nine.
If Delia starts laughing when up on the set
I’d be afraid of my life that the floor would get wet.

There is a wee lassie, and her name it is Tess
She has many songs and they’re all of the best.
I’m not a great judge but I now do declare,
The best one she sings is about Cooraclare.

I have played in this pub now for many a year
I liked all the people, and a wee drop of beer.
And when I am dead and under the clay
I hope you’ll remember the tunes that I play.

And when I am gone and laid down to rest
When meeting St Peter I’ll ask a request:
I hope and I pray that he’ll grant it for sure,
Let my spirit come back to the pub down in Coore.

Conversation after song between Junior Crehan, Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie:
Jim: When did you write that?
Junior: Maybe in bed in the night, I couldn’t sleep, I’d be verses together. So I wrote it down here and there but Áine Hennessy taped it for me.
Jim: That’s lovely. Have you sung it in Gleesons?
Junior: I sung it at Gleesons, the first night and P.J. Crotty … ‘Stop now,’ he says, ‘Junior has a song.’ They were all thinking I’d say something bad about the next one of ‘em.
Jim: I can see you have a great knack at rhyming.
Junior: I hate a song that doesn’t rhyme.

"This affectionate tribute to Gleeson’s and its habitués was made by fiddle and concertina player Junior Crehan. Gleesons was a combined bar and shop a few miles out of Miltown Malbay which acted as a venue for music, singing and dancing, for around seventy years. For locals it was a source of supplies and a meeting place, for music lovers, singers and dancers it was a must. On Sunday nights, whatever the weather, a group of local musicians, Junior Crehan, Ita Crehan, Paddy Galvin, Josie Hayes, Pat Kelly, Michael Downes, Kitty Hayes, John Joe Tuttle, etc., played for the dancing throughout the year, fortified in the summer months by visiting players from all over the world; regular returnees included Bobby Casey, Tom MacCarthy, Sean McNamara, John Joe Healy – all Clare exiles. It closed its doors for the last time in 2004. For the locals it was a part of their lives, for visitors who loved the music it was a magnet, a high point of their visit.

A wonderful little book of history, photographs and tributes assembled by Nell Gleeson, ‘The Pub Down in Coore’ gives an account of a gathering place which occupies a major position in the history of West Clare music."

Reference:
The Pub Down in Coore, Nell Gleeson and friends, (privately published 1911) Available locally and from the author.
Jim Carroll


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